The Rebels captured a 9-7 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers in a game that saw Ole Miss continue its well rounded play, featuring three runs in the first inning alone and the first of what will hopefully be many Rebel home runs from Ethan Legé.
Playing indoors at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the Rebels won their second game of the three-game tournament series, beating Maryland 5-1 on Friday to place an exclamation point on the series victory earlier in the week which featured an 18-8 route of its own.
A season-high of 16 hits, as well as Grayson Saunier’s longest start as a Rebel so far with five-straight innings (which saw 11 strikeouts and only two walks) combined with a good team effort all around cements the case for another magical Rebel season.
Having won the NCAA Championship in 2022 and standing at fourth in the national rankings, Ole Miss holds firm on any baseball fan’s shortlist of likely national champions in Omaha in the summer.
At one point, after suffering a deficit of 5-4, the Rebels stormed back, first making it 7-5 in the eighth inning, thanks in part to a hit from Kemp Alderman that ran in Jacob Gonzalez, before Legé swatted a home run, putting the Rebels up 9-5.
Try as they may have, Minnesota could not put together the heroics necessary to overtake Ole Miss, and the game ended after a futile two extra runs from the Golden Gophers.
Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco, in his post game press conference, spoke highly of the team’s efforts. He spoke about his pride in his team and warned against “sleepwalking through this game.”
Despite Minnesota’s lack of rank on the national stage, any team can be dangerous when given the opportunity, and Bianco is wary of challengers to the crown that sits atop all Rebel heads in Oxford.
Speaking of the strain it took to beat a team like Minnesota so far away from home, Bianco said after the game, “We needed every bit of our effort tonight to pull it through.”
When every team wants to beat you, you simply cannot lose games like these. So far, Ole Miss looks to continue its dominance in any state and in any stadium. Other teams will do well to remember the danger of letting the Rebs get hot, and that held just as true in a state that saw 20 inches of snow not a full week before Ethan Groff and Calvin Harris got into town.
The Rebels will finish out the Cambria College Classic with a matchup against Nebraska on Sunday, March 5.